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The Samui Rock Café on the Chaweng Lake Road is the place to be if you are a fan of rock music. We caught up with owner Dan to find out a bit more about him, how he likes life in Koh Samui, who is playing at the bar and what is on his incredible menu.
Thanks for meeting with us today Dan, can we start by asking where you come from?
I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA but when I was 18 moved and spent about 13 years in San Diego California so I have friends and family in both places.
How long have you been in Koh Samui?
I have been on the island for 6 months and I am loving every minute of it!
What did you do before you came to live in Koh Samui?
When I was 18 I joined the US Marines and spent 10 years all over the world. After that I was the bar and security manager for the Hard Rock Hotels in California and Las Vegas.
What was it about Samui that made you want to make it your home?
Before I came to Samui I was worked in the Middle East for 3 years. A good friend of mine introduced me to Koh Samui for holiday breaks and I feel in love with the island on my first trip here about 3 years ago!
As much as I can get away with! Oh yeah and I also own the Samui Rock Cafe in Cheweng beach which takes up a good bit of my time, but I don’t mind because I love what I do. Like papa always said do what you love and it’s never really like you are working!
What got you into rock music?
When I was growing up in Pittsburgh my Dad was in a Rockabilly band and rock music was a close jump from there. I actually enjoy many different types of music, I have had a strong passion for music all of my life. But when I was looking for a business to buy in Samui I saw that the Samui Rock Cafe was for sale and couldn’t help to notice that there were not many Rock and Roll Cafe’s around so here I am! I also have a passion for cooking so the Samui Rock Café was a better choice for me since we have a full kitchen.
What goes on at the Samui Rock Cafe
Well obviously we do Rock and Roll music here! We have live rock music from the Black Roses every Sunday night, the Black Roses have been playing here for years under the previous owner and they have a strong following. We also do live music on other nights as well during the high season. We are part of the Monday and Wednesday pool league which I enjoy because you get to meet some really good people from around the island that you may have never met before, and it gives me a chance to showcase some of my American style food that we serve in the Café for the pool teams.
We have a full American, Thai and Breakfast menu. When I made my menu I tried to bring a few American dishes that you don’t normally see in Koh Samui such as my Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches, BBQ pulled pork Sandwiches, Buffalo wings and Chili Cheese Fries. These are some of my best sellers along with the Giant Double American Bacon Cheeseburger.
What plans do you have for the bar in the future?
In the past 6 months we have done a lot of renovations already but I would really like to start doing an all you can eat American BBQ of the weekends soon and build a stage for the live bands.
What would you change about island life if you could?
I love the island life, there is not too much I would change except to maybe have more free time to enjoy it!
What do you think of our online paper?
I think what you have done with the online paper is outstanding especially considering the short amount of time it has been operating. Well done to everyone involved!
What is your motto in life?
Go big or go home!!